The EIA reported a net gas storage withdrawal of 147 BCF this morning for the week ending February 3, 2017. This week’s report was just above the market’s expectation which was centered around a 144 BCF withdrawal. It is bullish against 93 BCF withdrawn in this same week last year and against the five year average for this week which is a withdrawal of 138 BCF.
March 2017 NYMEX natural gas futures are currently $0.01/MMBtu higher at $3.13/MMBtu. Although extreme cold temperatures in December temporarily pushed NYMEX pricing to nearly $4.00/MMBtu, there has simply not been enough cold weather thus far in 2017 and prices have been stuck in a range between $3.00 and $3.20/MMBtu. A bearish weather outlook for the balance of February looks to continue that trend.
March 2017 NYMEX crude oil futures are currently $0.60 higher at $52.94/Bbl. The market wants to believe that US oil inventories will begin to drop as production cuts announced by OPEC and other major producers begin to work their way through the system, tighten supply/demand balances and fundamentally support pricing. Only time will tell if that will happen or not. As long as prices manage to stay above $50/Bbl, ramping US shale oil production will increase supply and is a threat to undermine the pricing support that OPEC and others are attempting to create.
Natural gas inventories currently stand at 2,559 BCF which is 325 BCF less than from this same week last year and 45 BCF above the five year average.